A Backward Glance in Warwick’s History

A picture of Warwick as it appeared over seventy years ago.

Reprinted  in Warwick Advertiser April 13, 1893


Transcribed by Yvonne Bauer

January 2005


Notes on current locations were inserted in the 1893 reprint.

Notes current in 2005 are given in bold.



(The following article is reprinted from an advertiser of September 1st, 1866, kindly loaned us by Mrs. A. M. Hoyt.  It is from the pen of a writer who then had a distinct recollection of fifty years before.  By reference to the appending foot notes, kindly supplied by one of our older residents, the readers of today can locate the old houses referred to, and thus the article will give a glimpse of other days now very interesting.  Possibly Elder Leonard Cox, at that time the publisher of this paper, and still a regular reader, can tell us who the writer was: a bit of information on one so far appealed to is ably to give.) 


          In former days the main body of Warwick was centered about what now constitutes the upper part of the village.  The stone house where Mr. Sayre now lives; that of John Smith on the site of the present United States Hotel; 1 that of Daniel Bart, now the Wawayanda House, and the old shingled house2 over the little valley, opposite the latter; these with a few other log huts, constituted the then village of Warwick.


          The stone house above mentioned was owned and occupied by Francis Baird, an old gentleman who also owned a large farm adjoining; he kept a store in a small wing of the house, and a sign in front indicated that there was “Chandler & Baird’s Store.”  John Baird, the son of the old gentleman, was by trade a tanner, and had a tan-yard a little back of the house, near the small sparing brook, another son named Abiah F. Baird, was a lame man and by profession a lawyer.  The father lies buried in the Presbyterian ground near the church—the sons afterward removed to Sandyhill, in this state, where they both died.


John Smith kept the principle tavern of the village; he was a large, pursy man, and wore a band across his forehead, from which was suspended a patch to cover a defective eye.  He was a Mason, and the lodge was in a large upper room of his house.3 The ladies of the neighborhood volunteered to assist in fitting it up, which was done in a very handsome style for that day.  Mr. Smith died about the time we are referring to, and was buried in the Presbyterian ground, with the Masonic honors.


          What is now the Wawayanda House[1], which has since been enlarged, was owned and occupied by Daniel Burt, who also owned, and had formerly occupied the old shingled house before mentioned; Joel Burt, his son kept a store in the first mentioned; Mr. Burt afterwards sold out and removed to Oswego, in this state, where his descendants are still to be found.  The old Presbyterian meeting house stood on the site of the present church4.  It was an uncouth fabric, with a double pitched roof a mere shell without pews in the gallery, and some ancient and uncomfortable ones below, —it stood high up from the ground, and the foundation was so open that the village sheep lodged under it—in the playful language of the day it was styled “the Lord’s barn.” —Mr. Joline,5 a clergymen from Florida officiated about once a month.  The names of many of the old inhabitants of the hamlet may still be seen on the memorial stones in the graveyard.


          Up the road towards Florida, on the east side, near where Mr. Van Houton now lives, was a small shapely frame house,6 occupied by Dr. Hopkins, a very accomplished gentleman, who ranked high in his profession.  He got into some difficulty and was obliged to leave but returned again after an absence of a few years, and resumed the practice of his profession; he afterwards went to Virginia, where he died.  Advancing up the road, on the west side, (where Mrs. Christie now lives)7 lived Abram Genugh, a saddle and harness maker.  Dr. Dubois afterwards bought this place and lived there for a number of years.  A short distance beyond, near where the Rev. Mr. Vanderveer now resides, lived Deacon John M. Fought, who had a distillery there.8  He was a precise old gentleman, wore a large brown wig and was so circumspect in his deportment that it was about impossible to find any fault with him.  He afterwards removed to New York and died there at a very advance age.


          About half a mile further up, where now Mr. N. R. Bradner is located,9 in an old fashioned house, lived Aannias Rogers, who was a farmer and dealt largely in cattle–he was also the town butcher.


          Returning again to the village and taking the old road towards Sugar Loaf, at a short distance on the left hand, will be found a small stone house still standing[2] which was built and occupied by Mr. Montanye, the Baptist minister of the village.  He was a small, square built, active man, of pleasant countenance, and good natural abilities; he gave very good sermons, and presided over the only regular Christian congregation then existing in the village.

          “Beside the bed where parting life was laid, and sorrow quilt and pain at times displayed, the Reverend champion stood: at his control despair and anguish fled the struggling soul.  Comfort came down his humble hopes to raise and his last trembling accent whispered praise.”


          Your informant was present when Mr. Montanye preached his farewell sermon.  The scene was very impressive; his emotion was so great that at times it impeded his enunciation, and at the conclusion when he uttered the words “Brethren, farewell,” many of his parishioners were in tears.  Advancing up the road, at the next house on the left, lived Jacob Mabee, the village blacksmith.  His shop was near the road; his house a little back; some of his descendants are still to be found here.


          Again advancing on the opposite side is an old fashioned stone house, still there, lived James Benedict, a substantial farmer a men of excellent reputation of inquiring mind, and strong common sense.  Your informant on a visit to Warwick, made a friendly call on him, was very kindly received, and had a long conversation with him; it was towards the close of his life.  The subject of his meditation that evening was “why God permitted sin to exist in the world,” The tombstones of the old gentleman and his wife are in the Baptist burying ground.  Two of his daughters still live in the old homestead.



1 At the bandstand corner, lately occupied by Mrs. Sarah Pierson. Now occupied by the Mobil Station, corner of Main and Colonial Ave.

2 The old house now occupied by Mrs. Herrick. Shingle House Museum, Forester Ave.

3 The building now occupied by William W. Van Duzer.


[1] On Colonial Ave., opposite intersection of Forester.  No longer standing.

4 The present reformed church is on the same lot.


5 The father of the late Mrs. Van Houten.


6 The present Old School Baptist parsonage.


7 In the lawn where Judge Boattie’s new house stands, and near the old wall.

8 The reformed church parsanage stie.

9 The old dwelling is now rented by Jocob

[2] No longer standing..  Current property of James Quinn.